The Business Models Alibaba reviews will tell you that Alibaba.com is a business-to-business (B2B) marketplace that connects businesses to Chinese factories. If a manufacturer wants to produce a new product, they can search on Alibaba for a suitable Chinese factory partner who will create their item, send a prototype, and then approve a large wholesale order. Ironically, these goods often end up on the Amazon ecommerce platform, being sold to American customers. This is likely how most Americans know about Alibaba. 12
But Alibaba reviews and owns consumer-facing web properties as well. The Alibaba Group owns about a dozen related and affiliated ecommerce sites. Taobao Marketplace is a C2C (consumer-to-consumer) marketplace (kind of like eBay, or an ecommerce version of craigslist classifieds), while Taobao Mall (or Tmall) is a B2C marketplace, like third-party sellers on the Amazon ecommerce site. According to some estimates, these two Taobao properties alone make up over 80% of all online purchases in China. If you don’t believe it, consider this: Taobao is the #12-ranked website in the world. In a way, you can think of Alibaba as an eBay-type platform that also works for B2B wholesale needs. From Alibaba reviews found on the web, sellers love the platform, but Alibaba largely removes itself from anything beyond the connection and transaction between buyer and seller. This is a big difference between Amazon vs Alibaba. Amazon, on the other hand, provides all the services of an online retailer, but also lends significant support for sellers. In the past few years, Amazon has become increasingly focused on logistics, which is backed up by Amazon reviews from sellers. The company has reduced shipping costs and times, and encouraged sellers to buy into the FBA (Fulfillment By Amazon) program, in which sellers can store goods in Amazon warehouses before selling them to allow for lightning-fast shipping to buyers. In addition, Amazon has an additional (and lucrative) business model around its cloud computing platform called Amazon Web Services. Like Amazon, Alibaba has launched a similar service, but has yet to capture the market share of Amazon. Unlike Alibaba, Amazon has also become a major player in the streaming content wars, with Amazon Prime Video producing some acclaimed original series as well as offering streaming video content similar to that of Netflix. Amazon also has a streaming audio content platform to rival the likes of Spotify. 13
Plus, Amazon reviews of products are the trusted gold standard, and Amazon has the largest library of ebooks on the Kindle platform, where the company sells millions of ebooks, many self-published, every month, and dishes out millions of dollars in royalty payments to authors on the platform. Amazon vs Alibaba: Who’s winning? In terms of performance, it is important to remember the differences between the platforms offered by Alibaba vs Amazon.
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- Spring '15
- Management, Alibaba, Alibaba Group